‘Because I am a girl’


‘Over two-thirds of the world’s 793 million illiterate adults are found in only eight countries (Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Pakistan). Of all the illiterate adults in the world, two-thirds are women; extremely low literacy rates are concentrated in three regions (the Arab states, South and West Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa), where half of all women are illiterate.’

Kamla Bhasin, an Indian feminist, has written a poem on girl’s education. Very simple poem. Sometimes very simple and very small things can touch hearts. She encourages girls to go to schools, to live their lives with dignity and rights.

A father asks his daughter:

Study? Why should you study?
I have sons aplenty who can study.
Girl, why should you study?

The daughter tells her father:
Since you ask, here’s why I must study.
Because I am a girl, I must study.
Long denied this right, I must study
For my dreams to take flight, I must study
Knowledge brings new light, so I must study
For the battles I must fight, I must study
Because I am a girl, I must study.

To avoid destitution, I must study
To win independence, I must study
To fight frustration, I must study
To find inspiration, I must study
Because I am a girl, I must study.

To fight men’s violence, I must study
To end my silence, I must study
To challenge patriarchy I must study
To demolish all hierarchy, I must study.
Because I am a girl, I must study.

To mould a faith I can trust, I must study
To make laws that are just, I must study
To sweep centuries of dust, I must study
To challenge what I must, I must study
Because I am a girl, I must study.

To know right from wrong, I must study.
To find a voice that is strong, I must study
To write feminist songs I must study
To make a world where girls belong, I must study.
Because I am a girl, I must study.

Study alone won’t work. Most of the educated and financially independent women practice anti-women traditions, and hardly try to break the shackles of patriarchy or fight misogyny. To walk with their head held high women need other things too: consciousness and courage. Academic curriculum does not always help women to grow consciousness.

Comments

    • says

      You are fond of baduk, an ancient Chinese board game. Aren’t you? You told me two men were playing when Psy was jumping and singing. Kamasutra, as a sex guide, advised women to do certain things in order to make men feel sexually attracted towards them. Some intelligent men like women’s intelligence. But most men in today’s society feel threatened by women’s power. They try to suppress, oppress, denigrate women under the guise of traditions and customs.

  1. Mriganka Bhattacharyya says

    Minimum formal education is a must, to be a literate. But after that, I think formal education can be helpful only in certain cases. Most part of the education system in India has lost its value. Our one teacher told in the class that Pakistan is not a country that possesses nuclear power. But I found in Wikipedia that it was wrong, I have must more trust in Wikipedia than him. Taslima, I read in your book ‘Nirbasan’, the description of the high-ranking police officer that persuaded you to leave the city. He did not even know why a book was translated to other languages. They all have got the ‘formal education.’……..

  2. dgrasett says

    to Milon Ahmed:
    If there is one, there are too many. Teach a man and he enriches himself. Teach a woman, and she enriches her entire family.

  3. Sastra says

    No, study alone won’t work; it depends very much on what they study. But, as you say, it is where we should start.

    I hope the poem inspires not just girls, but the parents.

  4. Priyadarshini Mallik says

    I realize now that since we had the werewithal to educate ourselves,we take our being literate for granted.There are so many of us or of the girl population who don’t enjoy the basic right or need of getting educated!

Trackbacks

  1. […] ‘Because I am a girl’ ‘Over two-thirds of the world’s 793 million illiterate adults are found in only eight countries (Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Pakistan). Of all the illiterate adults in the world, two-thirds are women; extremely low literacy rates are concentrated in three regions (the Arab states, South and West Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa), where half of all women are illiterate.’ Kamla Bhasin, an Indian feminist, has written a poem on girl’s education. Very simple poem. Sometimes very simple and very small things can touch hearts. She encourages girls to go to schools, to live their lives with dignity and rights. A father asks his daughter: Study? Why should you study? I have sons aplenty who can study. Girl, why should you study? The daughter tells her father: Since you ask, here’s why I must study. Because I am a girl, I must study. Long denied this right, I must study For my dreams to take flight, I must study Knowledge brings new light, so I must study For the battles I must fight, I must study Because I am a girl, I must study. To avoid destitution, I must study To win independence, I must study To fight frustration, I must study To find inspiration, I must study Because I am a girl, I must study. To fight men’s violence, I must study To end my silence, I must study To challenge patriarchy I must study To demolish all hierarchy, I must study. Because I am a girl, I must study. To mould a faith I can trust, I must study To make laws that are just, I must study To sweep centuries of dust, I must study To challenge what I must, I must study Because I am a girl, I must study. To know right from wrong, I must study. To find a voice that is strong, I must study To write feminist songs I must study To make a world where girls belong, I must study. Because I am a girl, I must study. Study alone won’t work. Most of the educated and financially independent women practice anti-women traditions, and hardly try to break the shackles of patriarchy or fight misogyny. To walk with their head held high women need other things too: consciousness and courage. Academic curriculum does not always help women to grow consciousness. Main tere naseeb ki barish nahi Jo tujh pe baras jaon Tujhe taqdeer badalni hogi mujhe panay ke liye….!!!! मैं तेरे नसीब की बारिश नहीं जो तुझ पे बरस जाऊं, तुझे तकदीर बदलनी होगी मुझे पाने के लिए ….!!!! 'میں تیرے نصیب کی بارش نہیں جو تجھ پہ برس جاؤں تجھے تقدیر بدلنی ہوگی مجھے پانے کے لئے "I'm not the rain of your fortune that i'll fall on you.You've to change your fate in order to get me." Reply With Quote […]

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